In April, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI) published its first official policy regarding foreigners who undertake internships.

For any non-European Economic Area (EEA) citizen studying in Ireland, a work permit is not required if the internship directly concerns the student’s coursework and if it is necessary for the completion of his or her degree. For non-EEA nationals studying outside Ireland, the DJEI and the Department of Justice and Equality (Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service – INIS) will consider work permit applications on a case-by-case basis. If the internship is unpaid or will last less than 90 days, the applicant should contact the INIS for permission to perform the work.

Please note that non-visa nationals cannot seek pre-clearance from INIS by way of a training visa or business visa as they do not require entry visas. There is still no formal process in place for this situation. For non-visa nationals seeking internships lasting less than 90 days, interns are advised to carry a letter stating that they:

  • Are in Ireland for training purposes.
  • Will remain on the payroll of the foreign employer, possess university funding or  sufficient means to support themselves during their stay.
  • Will return to their country of nationality or employment at the conclusion of the  internship.
  • The DJEI will consider issuing employment permits for internships lasting from three months to one year. To be approved, the following qualifications must be in place:
  • The non-EEA citizen must be currently attending a college or university and pursuing a  degree.
  • There must be an employer/employee relationship between the intern and Irish entity.
  • The intern must be employed, salaried and paid by the Irish employer.

Subject to DJEI discretion, internships may also be exempt from the salary minimum of €30,000 per year.Labor market tests are not required for internships.

An applicant should use the new employment permit application, make certain to write “Internship” on the top, and tick the “Work Permit Employment Permit” box so the purpose of the application is clear.